The very nature of ADHD makes it difficult for adults with the disorder to use credit cards responsibly. “Impulsivity, for one thing, means an adult with ADHD will see something they want and without thinking it through, will pull out their credit card and make a purchase,” according to Terry Matlen, ACSW, a psychotherapist and author of Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD.
It also doesn’t help that credit cards are so easy to use. “Credit cards are rather intangible. They’re plastic, easy to store and don’t look like money. It’s much easier handing a card to a clerk than reaching for cash that generally has more meaning and is more concrete.”
Psychotherapist Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, agreed. “Credit cards can give the illusion that one is not really spending ‘real’ money.”